Injuries Caused by Excessive Force
Police officers are entitled to use a reasonable amount of force when apprehending or subduing a suspect; the problem is that the word “reasonable” is open to wide interpretation, with arresting officers having one perspective, suspects another, and judges and juries yet a third. As a general rule, states and municipalities don’t have a single, strict standard by which to measure the appropriate use of police force; these incidents are usually handled on a case-by-case basis. Eyewitness testimony, injuries, and forensic evidence can all be called on to establish that police used excessive force during any given arrest. (Keep in mind, however, that accusations of excessive force require you to demonstrate that you did not unduly resist arrest or attempt to assault the arresting officers.)
Police officers have various weapons at their disposal, each of which can be used in excessive fashion, resulting in injuries to the suspect. These are:
- Hands, legs, feet and other body parts. Arresting officers have been known to punch, kick, body-slam and even head-butt suspects in the course of an arrest. Just because a police officer is angry or frustrated (say, after pursuing a suspect on foot over a long distance) doesn’t mean he’s entitled to beat the suspect up after that person has already been apprehended.
- Clubs and batons. Although police clubs are usually considered to be relatively innocuous weapons, compared to guns, they can cause serious injury when wielded with excessive force, as witness the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles. Police should use clubs and batons only when necessary to bring suspects under control; any injuries inflicted after that can be considered excessive force.
- Non-lethal weapons. Police are equipped with a variety of “non-lethal” means to bring suspects under control, including tasers, stun guns and pepper spray. Misuse or repeated use of tasers, especially, can result in serious injuries, and even death.
- Police dogs. Because they’re not under the direct control of an arresting officer, police dogs should only be set loose as a last resort. If a police dog continues to bite or maul a suspect after he’s already been brought under control, the arresting officer can be held accountable for excessive use of force.
Police Use of Excessive Injury Attorneys, Quincy
If you were a victim of the use of excessive force by police, or suffered severe injuries after being wrongfully tasered by a police stun gun your civil rights may have been violated. Before you assume you have no right to civil justice, call our attorneys today and discuss your case for free.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.